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Good education

A great deal of attention is given over to broadening the notion of quality in education. In a recent consultation paper, besides qualifications the Education Council argued for personal development and socialisation to become key educational objectives. This raises questions about meaning, philosophical development, leadership and narrative decision-making within education. Our institute can help in this process.

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Post-initial education

We offer Personal leadership, good education and meaning; a post-initial education programme for school administrators. This programme has five basic cores: school managers’ practice; biographic research; determining what is good (spirituality); reflecting on leadership, good education, meaning and narrative-motivated decision-making; and exploration of various wisdom traditions.

Contract research and consultancy

We offer various forms of consultancy and research, for example focused on visions of identity, the broader quality of education, and the partnership between parents and school.

Lectures, courses and course material

In collaboration with Verus we have created the Leadership, meaning and the school’s story programme aimed at primary education school managers. This two year course will guide school managers in addressing the question what constitutes good education and a school’s identity. The first year centres on the school manager, his/her ideals and the connections between personal and professional identity. In the second year the spotlight turns on the school’s identity, which we consider a narrative to be further detailed. School managers learn how to communicate better and how to enrich and give direction to this identity.

This course focusing on the theme of ‘personal leadership’ is aimed at school managers when re-applying to the school manager register.

Practice-oriented research projects

Research into leadership, meaning and the school’s story

Some school managers are more successful in talking about their school’s identity than others. The Leadership, meaning and the school’s story research orientates on the development of theoretical insight in the relationship between the school manager’s personal and professional identity and how this shapes the school’s collective identity.

This research, a PhD project by Jorien Copier, started in 2016 and will run until 2020. Have a look at the video above for more information on the project. Verus is the partner.

Parents on broader educational quality

In a recent consultation paper, the Education Council made a case for broader educational objectives such as personal development and socialisation, to complement such things as qualifications. Verus (Association for Catholic and Christian education) appointed us to investigate parents’ ideas about broader educational quality. This was a qualitative research project and as such can enrich existing quantitative research on educational objectives, such as performed by the SCP.

The research results will be presented shortly.

Read also: partner Verus (Association for Catholic and Christian education) interviewed Dr. Ton Bernts: "The parent is a challenging partner"

Research into the identity of Catholic primary schools

Verus commissioned research into identity-related schools in Protestant-Christian primary education in 2012. This resulted in categorization identifying three types of primary schools. We were appointed by Verus to conduct similar research in Catholic primary schools.

The following questions about Catholic primary schools were addressed by the research:

  1. What form does the composition of staff and pupils take?
  2. To what extent does the school agree learning objectives and educational goals, as well as activities and objectives related to philosophical education?
  3. What type of categorisation can be made of Catholic schools’ identity, and what are the characteristic objectives relating to education, learning and philosophical views that distinguish these various types?
  4. What is the relationship with contextual factors such as urbanity, region and school sizes?

Have a look at the report: Identity of Catholic primary schools, a categorisation based on policy and pupil population (report nr. 650) by Dr. Ton Bernts, Joris Kregting and Prof. Dr. Chris Hermans, June 2018.

The school as a community

We were appointed by Verus to investigate the experiences of parents and schools regarding parent participation, more specifically the value(able) partnership between school and parents. The question was to what extent and how parents and schools are explicit about their values regarding upbringing and education, and how do they exchange and share these notions.

View the project’s report and videos here.


For more information, meetings and /or requests contact Prof. Dr. Chris Hermans (Religious Studies).